Everyday LifeDo Gorillas often climb trees?

Do Gorillas often climb trees?

  • Mountain gorilla in a tree (© Ravid Aloni)

Gorillas live primarily on the ground. They spend only 5-20% of the day in trees, whereas chimpanzees spend 47-61% of the day above the ground and orang-utans almost 100%. But gorillas do like to climb in order to play or to harvest fruit. Almost always they climb quadrupedally; only very rarely they brachiate or jump from branch to branch. Young gorillas spend more time than adults in trees and like to play there. Adult Virunga gorillas very rarely climb into trees - on the one hand, there are few suitable for nest building in their habitat, and on the other hand, there are hardly any fruiting trees. Western lowland gorillas, on the other hand, spend considerable time on trees even as adults.

Silverback males do not often move above the ground because of their great weight. But even they will climb high into fruiting trees if the branches can carry their weight.